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10 Shocking Facts About Processed Food

10 Shocking Facts About Processed Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines “processed food” as “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.” By this definition, most food can be considered processed.

For purposes of this article though, when I say “processed food” I mean food that has been altered with artificial ingredients, fillers and chemical additives.

Because this is the stuff that’s making us fat, causing disease and taking years off our lives.

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Read these 10 facts about processed food and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s dig in.

70 percent of our calories now come from processed food.

It’s a sad fact that 7 out of every 10 foods that touch your mouth are altered with chemical ingredients, according to Melanie Warner, a former New York Times reporter who authored the book Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal.

Processed food is addictive.

There’s a reason you can’t stop eating all those sugary, salty snacks: they’re designed to keep you coming back. Processed foods stimulate dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that lights up your brain in similar ways that drugs do. Food companies know this … and they actually engineer their products to have this effect. Journalist Michael Moss says in his book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us:

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Some of the largest companies are now using brain scans to study how we react neurologically to certain foods, especially to sugar. They’ve discovered that the brain lights up for sugar the same way it does for cocaine.

Processed food is plentiful.

In Pandora’s Lunchbox, Melanie Warner talks about how there are now close to 5,000 additives allowed in our food. This number continues to grow year after year, too.

Processed foods have disgusting ingredients.

  • Titanium dioxide, which is commonly used in paints and sunscreens, is also found in many salad dressings, coffee creamers and cake icing.
  • One of the key ingredients in many canned and fast food chili is silicon dioxide, also known as sand.
  • Lanolin, an oily substance found in sheep’s wool, is an additive used in chewing gum.
  • Cellulose, which is actually ground-up wood pulp, is often used as an anti-caking agent in bagged cheeses.
  • Sodium bisulfite, a toilet bowl cleaning chemical, is also used in potato chips.

Processed food will kill you.

Perhaps most troubling is the fact that eating a diet high in processed foods has been proven to take years off your life. Pretty good incentive to eat more real food, if you ask me.

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Processed foods will make you fat.

Research shows the “Western Diet”, which is prevalent in countries like the U.S., Great Britain and Australia, will make you fat. Potato chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined grains, and sugary snacks, in particular, are the four processed foods that cause you to gain the most weight over time.

Processed foods have been a root cause of nearly every modern disease.

A comprehensive research review of 172 clinical studies published in the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition concluded that virtually all chronic diseases are partially caused by our modern diet of engineered foods.

Eating processed foods will make it harder for you to burn calories.

Eating a diet high in processed food causes your body to burn fewer calories—50 percent fewer, to be exact.

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Processed foods cause imbalances in your gut.

The microorganisms living in your digestive tract form an important “inner ecosystem” that influences many aspects of your health. Processed foods disrupt the microorganisms in your digestive tract, which can lead to serious problems.

Processed meats may cause cancer.

Bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, and sausages may be delicious … but the effects of eating these processed meats can be devastating. Studies show eating them can significantly increase your odds of developing heart disease and type II diabetes and may take years off your life.

If these 10 things sound like good reasons to stop eating processed foods, start working on changing those bad habits into good ones. Take it slow, phase out one food at a time and you’ll change your health and your life.

Featured photo credit: Let Ideas Compete via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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